30 Jan 2014

Quinoa - PERU



Quinua is a small town in the province of Huamanga, in Peru's central highland department of Ayacucho, 37 km (23 mi) from the city of Huamanga (Ayacucho), at an altitude of 3,300 meters (10,830 ft), which today serves as the administrative capital of the district of the same name. It is noted as the site of the 1824 Battle of Ayacucho.
Long known for its pottery and serving as a stop between the larger towns of Huamanga and Huanta and the jungles of San Miguel province, Quinua received a boost to its primarily agricultural subsistence with the celebration of the sesquicentennial of the Battle of Ayacucho in 1974. In preparation for the ceremonies dedicating a 44-meter (144 ft) obelisk commemorating the 44-year struggle for independence, a paved roadway was built linking Quinua and Huamanga, thereby shortening to less than an hour what had until then been a half-day trip. After the long-lasting fight between the Peruvian state and the Shining Path guerrilla movement, the town capitalized on its historic location, garnering a share of Ayacucho's tourism market. Among the attractions offered the more than 10,000 who visit each year are the battlefield and the commemorative obelisk, a historical museum located in the house where the Act of Capitulation was signed, the town traditional architecture, and traditional Ayacucho foods prepared and served in country setting. Pottery is now the town's main industry, with 70% of its economically active population engaged in producing or selling the town's famous pottery.

Quinoa is one of the most protein-rich foods we can eat. It is a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids.
Quinoa contains almost twice as much fiber as most other grains. Fiber is most widely known to relieve constipation. It also helps to prevent heart disease by reducing high blood pressure and diabetes. Fiber lowers cholesterol and glucose levels, may lower your risk of developing hemorrhoids, and may help you to lose weight (it takes a longer time to chew than does other foods because it makes you feel fuller for longer and is less “energy dense,” which means it has fewer calories for the same volume of food).
Quinoa contains Iron. Iron helps keep our red blood cells healthy and is the basis of hemoglobin formation. Iron carries oxygen from one cell to another and supplies oxygen to our muscles to aid in their contraction. Iron also increases brain function because the brain takes in about 20% of our blood oxygen. There are many benefits of iron; it aids in neurotransmitter synthesis, regulation of body temperature, enzyme activity and energy metabolism.
Quinoa contains lysine. Lysine is mainly essential for tissue growth and repair.
Quinoa is rich in magnesium. Magnesium helps to relax blood vessels and thereby to alleviate migraines. Magnesium also may reduce Type 2 diabetes by promoting healthy blood sugar control. Other health benefits of magnesium include transmission of nerve impulses, body temperature regulation, detoxification, energy production, and the formation of healthy bones and teeth.
Quinoa is high in Riboflavin (B2). Improves energy metabolism within brain and muscle cells and is known to help create proper energy production in cells.
Quinoa has a high content of manganese. Manganese is an antioxidant, which helps to prevent damage of mitochondria during energy production as well as to protect red blood cells and other cells from injury by free radicals.
Quinoa is one of nature’s superfoods. Quinoa, pronounced KEEN-wah, is a tiny, nutty-tasting, gluten-free grain, that delivers healthy doses of protein and fiber. It is also one of the only plant foods that is a complete protein, meaning that it provides the body with all 9 essential amino acids. A 1/2-cup serving of quinoa has 111 calories, 2 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 4 g protein and 3 g fiber. Even better, this nutritional heavyweight is practically foolproof to cook. 

-How to cook Quinoa:
Quinoa is known as the little rice of Peru. The Incas treated the crop as sacred and referred to quinoa as "chisaya mama" or "mother of all grains."[by tradition, the Inca emperor would sow the first seeds of the season using "golden implements." Quinoa is rich in protein and much lighter than other grains. It is much easier to prepare than rice and is rapidly gaining in popularity, especially among vegetarians who value its high protein levels.
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water (or broth)
Olive oil to taste (Optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt (Optional)

Rinse the grains of quinoa in water. You can skip this step if you have purchased pre-rinsed quinoa in a box. If you have the grain, it will need to be placed in a strainer or a cheesecloth and placed under ample running water for a few minutes. This is necessary to remove the saponins, which impart a bitter flavor to quinoa if not removed. Toast quinoa in a saucepan (optional). Drizzle a bit of olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the quinoa and cook for about 1 minute. This brings out the quinoa's nutty flavor. Cook the quinoa. Place two parts water or stock to one part of quinoa in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer the quinoa for about 15 minutes or until the grain becomes translucent and the white germ forms a visible spiral on the exterior of the quinoa grain. Take the quinoa off the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. This will give it time to absorb any moisture that might still be in the pan. Uncover and fluff with a fork. The quinoa should look light and fluffy, and you should be able to see the germ separating from the seed. Serve. Freshly cooked quinoa should be served immediately to retain nutritional value and a good flavor. Serve with Stir-fry, using the quinoa as a substitute for rice.Curry. Braised meat. In a salad. Virtually any other combination you can think

If you will some recipes of quinua please visit my "recipes blog" 

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